Big, furry and scalable

OpenStack Grizzly released into the wild

Elliot Bentley

Rackspace reduce involvement as Red Hat become most prolific contributors to Infrastructure-as-a-Service project.

The seventh major release of Infrastructure-as-a-Service project OpenStack, codenamed ‘Grizzly’, is now available for download.

Developed by a cross-industry group including Red Hat, IBM and Intel, OpenStack runs by a strict six-month release cycle. Previous release ‘Folsom’ was considered by many to be the first production-ready version – though it has a long way to go before it achieves widespread adoption.

Many of the changes introduced in Grizzly increase its scalability closer to the target of 60 million virtual machines, executive director Jonathan Bryce told The Register.

Within the Compute component, which manages VM instances, Grizzly adds “Cells” to manage distributed clusters and a “NoDB” architecture to reduce OpenStack’s reliance on a central database.

Quotas for Object Storage environments can be now set to automatically control growth, while the second full release of Block Storage adds an “intelligent scheduler” that can be configured to optimise for performance efficiency or cost-effectiveness. The web-based dashboard also now includes control of networking and load balancing, and has been translated into more languages.

The grizzly details

If it’s any indication of how much work has been carried out since the last release, Grizzly clocks up at 820,000 lines of code – up from Folsom by 35%.

According to software development analytics company Bitergia – who break down each OpenStack release by company – Red Hat have contributed racked up 1854 commits – twice the number of second-largest contributor (and project founder) Rackspace.

However, OpenStack’s community remains diverse, with 517 individuals and more than 50 companies contributing to Grizzly. Red Hat’s contributions to OpenStack, though large, still only make up 20% of the total codebase.

This active community is generally seen as OpenStack’s edge against older rival CloudStack, but with the latter now a fully-fledged Apache project, competition between the two may begin to hot up.

OpenStack has still yet to prove itself as a truly practical solution, despite being run in production by Rackspace. Last month, OpenStack consultants Mirantis caused controversy by claiming that PayPal may replace their existing VMware-powered operation with OpenStack – claims which were quickly refuted by PayPal.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Lavoie.
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